THE Police and Crime Commissioner has said she is frustrated by delay to investigations into suspended Chief Constable Will Kerr.

In a press release this morning, Friday, Commissioner Alison Hernandez said that jurisdictional issues led to delays in suspending the Chief Constable who is accused of a serious criminal offence.

Alison Hernandez says she first referred the allegation made against Chief Cons Kerr to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) on March 23 of this year.

Almost a month later, on April 20, the IOPC closed the referral, saying that it did not consider that it had jurisdiction over the issue.

On July 19, after new information came to light, the IOPC told the commissioner it had reviewed its position. It asked her to consider resubmitting the referral.

Five days later (July 24) the Commissioner suspended Chief Cons Kerr, who ‘strenuously denies’ the allegations, and re-referred the matter to the IOPC, which oversees complaints made against police forces in England and Wales.

The IOPC accepted the second referral.

Commissioner Hernandez will today explain this process to a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel which scrutinises her decisions.

She said: ‘My decision-making process regarding suspension has been hampered by a distinct lack of clarity regarding which body was responsible for overseeing a complaint of this nature.

‘Coupled with that I have been frustrated by the fact I have yet to be presented with any evidence to support the case made against Mr Kerr.

‘There are lessons here for UK Policing.

‘Police and Crime Commissioners are the appropriate body to make hugely significant decisions in this area, they must be provided with sufficient information to inform these decisions and investigatory bodies should be absolutely clear about their remits and jurisdictions.

‘The delays caused in this case are less than ideal for all concerned. I hope now that all agencies will move swiftly to bring this case to a resolution.’

The Police and Crime Panel meeting, held at Council House, Plymouth, will also be updated on the Commissioner’s proposal to reopen Police Enquiry Offices at police stations around Devon and Cornwall, progress in improving Devon and Cornwall Police’s Firearms and Explosives Licensing Unit and her 2022-23 Annual Report.

The panel meeting starts at 10.30am. It is open to press and public and will be webcast live via the Plymouth City Council website.